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IATA is having a busy week at its Dublin AGM. Two bits of news have stood out.

The first follows decisions by both Lufthansa and Latam to stop operating to Venezuela, in light of “the complex macroeconomic situation” – in other words, no cash. Latam Airlines said flights on its Sao Paulo to Caracas route would be suspended within the next few days, while routes to Caracas from Lima and Santiago would be halted by the end of July. Lufthansa’s Frankfurt services end on June 17. Outgoing IATA DG Tony Tyler said funds blocked from repatriation in Venezuela totalled $3.8bn, and only one request to receive the funds has been approved this year. A similar problem is happening in Nigeria, where nearly $600m in airline money has been blocked. As Mr Tyler warned, countries which fail to allow airlines their funds will find that air connectivity is significantly reduced and, as the air transport industry likes to remind the world, that is bad for the economy.


The second is that air cargo has been touched by royalty: the UK’s Prince William addressed IATA delegates via video to encourage more airlines to sign up to the Buckingham Palace Declaration to help end the illegal trade in wildlife and related products, and stop the trafficking of endangered animals. You can see his address here. And the painting of an Emirates aircraft, ‘United for Wildlife’ here.

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